Kansas State Wildcats

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K-State adds future home-and-homes with Wazzu, Colorado

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Unlike in its creampuff past, Kansas State is adding some Power Five meat to its future slates.  Sort of.

Thursday, K-State announced that it has reached agreements on future home-and-home series with Colorado and Washington State.

The series against the Buffaloes will be played in 2027 and 2028.  CU will play host to KSU Sept. 18, 2027, with the Wildcats returning the favor in Manhattan Sept. 16, 2028.

As for the series with Wazzu, the first game is scheduled to be played in Manhattan, Kan., Sept. 12, 2026, with the return contest Sept. 8, 2029 in Pullman.

“Kansas State joins Wisconsin as a Power 5 opponent that our fans can look forward to seeing in Martin Stadium,” said WSU athletic director Bill Moos in a statement. “Additionally, Boise State and BYU provide future regional home matchups which should be very appealing to our fan base.”

The 2026 Cougars-Wildcats game will be the first-ever meeting in football between the two programs.

The Wildcats’ series with the Buffaloes will be a renewal of an old Big 7/8/12 rivalry that was contested 66 times before the Buffs’ move to the Pac-12.  Those teams first met in 1912, with the last meeting coming in 2010.  CU owns a 45-20-1 edge in the series.

S. Illinois announces additions of four FBS transfers, including ones from Florida, K-State

FORT COLLINS, CO - SEPTEMBER 05:  Deionte Gaines #2 of the Colorado State Rams returns a punt against the Savannah State Tigers at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Colorado State defeated Savannah State 65-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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When Southern Illinois takes the field in 2016, their roster will have a decidedly FBS look to it.

In a press release Monday, the FCS football program announced that it has added four former FBS players to the team.  Those four are wide receiver Deionte Gaines (Colorado State), cornerback CJ Jennings (Wyoming), running back Jarvis Leverett, Jr. (Kansas State), and wide receiver Ryan Sousa (Florida).

All four of those players will be eligible to play in 2016. Jennings and Sousa will have three years of eligibility remaining; Gaines will have two; and Leverett one.

Originally a Florida State commit, Sousa was a three-star member of the Gators’ 2014 recruiting class, rated by 247sports.com as the No. 67 receiver in the country and the No. 70 player at any position in the state of Florida. In addition to UF and FSU, Sousa also held offers from, among others, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Missouri, UCLA and Wisconsin.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Sousa played in two games in 2015. The fact that Sousa was a depth-chart afterthought after two springs in Gainesville likely played a sizable role in the player’s decision to transfer last month.

Despite being at K-State the past four years, Leverett played in just five games for the Wildcats.  He rushed for 67 yards on 20 carries, all of which came during the 2014 season.

As a redshirt freshman last season, Jennings played in 10 games. Exiting the spring, Jennings was one of the Cowboys’ starting corners before announcing his decision to transfer earlier this month.

Gaines started five of the 22 games in which he played the past two seasons prior to a mid-May decision to transfer from the Rams. He caught 22 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown, and added another 153 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

As a true freshman in 2014, the 5-8, 180-pound Gaines led the Mountain West and was 20th in the FBS with 672 kick return yards on 28 returns (24.0 average).

Big 12 announces return of title game, 20-percent increase in revenue payouts

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For those members of the Big 12 who are fans of title games and money, Friday was a very good day.

In the biggest news of the afternoon, commissioner Bob Bowlsby revealed that the conference has approved a measure that will allow for the implementation — or re-implementation, as the case may be — of a league championship game in football.  The return of the Big 12 title game will come at the end of the 2017 regular season, although details, such as location, are still up in the air.

In perhaps the most surprising news coming out of this particular development, the vote to reinstate the title game was unanimous.

The first-ever Big 12 title game in football coincided with the league’s first season in 1996.  It was played every year through the 2010 season, when conference expansion — the league lost Colorado and Nebraska prior to the 2011 season — and NCAA rules forced the Big 12 to abandon the game.  In January of this year, the Big 12 won approval to stage a championship game without 12 members as previously required by the NCAA.

The Big 12 will continue on with its round-robin schedule — every team playing the other nine schools every season — as required by the new rule.  On twist, however, is that, per Bowlsby, the Big 12 will likely split into two, five-team divisions; how those divisions will be split is to be determined.

And now we come to the money portion of the program, as it relates to this topic specifically and revenue in general.

That financial windfall is on top of the $30.4 million in revenue distribution each member institution received for the previous year, Bowlsby announced Friday. That’s up 20 percent from a year ago, and third among Power Five conferences behind only the SEC and Big 10.  It also doesn’t include third-tier media rights (Texas makes $15 million from that category, Oklahoma $6 million).

There won’t, however, be an additional revenue stream for conference membership as a whole as Bowlsby also confirmed that the conference has scrapped its plans for a league-wide television network. “Not the time for us to consider [a network],” the commissioner stated, with Oklahoma president David Boren saying the idea is effectively dead..

One final note: the conference’s board has authorized the Big 12 staff to work with consultants on “conference composition” — i.e. expansion.  Earlier this month, Bowlsby stated that he hoped the expansion issue would be resolved, one way or the other, before the end of summer.

It still appears unlikely that the Big 12 will add two additional members — Texas is believed to be staunchly against expansion — but it’s a situation that will bear monitoring throughout the next couple of months.

On Big 12 revote, Baker Mayfield gets another year of eligibility

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 5:  Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates a touchdown against the Akron Zips September 5, 2015 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Akron 41-3.(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Say this for the Big 12: they very quickly recognized as asinine decision and, to their credit, reversed course.

In a 5-5 vote Wednesday, the Big 12 shot down a rule proposed by Oklahoma that would’ve permitted walk-ons to transfer within the conference without restrictions.  The proposed rule, which failed due to the lack of a clear majority vote as well as disdain for both common sense and fairness, had been dubbed the “Baker Mayfield rule” in honor of the the OU quarterback who transferred from Texas Tech as a walk-on.

Earlier today it was reported that the Big 12 was going to reconsider that rule; in its reconsideration, the conference reversed course and, by a 7-3 vote, approved the measure.

The new measure will allow a walk-on at one Big 12 school to transfer within the conference and not face restrictions if his first school does not offer him a scholarship.  If that school does offer a scholarship, the walk-on can still transfer within the conference but must sit out a season.

As an added bonus for both Mayfield and the Sooners, the rule will retroactively apply to the quarterback, which means, if he so chooses, he would have another season of eligibility to use during the 2017 season.  Mayfield was not offered a scholarship upon leaving Tech, thus his grandfathering in under this new edict.

Mayfield took note of the reversal on Twitter, and seemingly indicated he’ll use that extra year.

Report: Big 12 reconsidering ‘Baker Mayfield rule’

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 28:  Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates with fans after beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys 58-23 at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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That whole thing about the Big 12 rule that was tabled a day ago? Never mind. Pretend it never happened. Maybe.

In a 5-5 vote Wednesday, the Big 12 shot down a rule proposed by Oklahoma that would’ve permitted walk-ons to transfer within the conference without restrictions.  The proposed rule, which failed due to the lack of a clear majority vote as well as disdain for both common sense and fairness, had been dubbed the “Baker Mayfield rule” in honor of the the OU quarterback who transferred from Texas Tech as a walk-on.

The non-passage of the rule could be short-lived, however, as ESPN.com‘s Jake Trotter is reporting that “the Big 12 is reconsidering the rule change with different language.” That language “would allow a walk-on’s school to offer a scholarship to keep him,” and then “[i]f the walk-on then still elected to transfer within the conference, the player would face the league’s transfer eligibility restrictions.”

Should the rule be enacted, it would give Mayfield, a preseason Heisman favorite who finished fourth in the voting last year, another season of eligibility he could use in 2017.